The Oregon Ducks take on the Virginia Cavaliers on the road in Charlottesville Saturday. The game is on ABC at 3:30 p.m. On Friday September 6, the Oregon Ducks find themselves as 23 point favorites over the Virginia Cavaliers. This could be one of the biggest games of the ACC season. After Virginia upset the BYU Cougars at home, they could really make a bold statement by shocking the world with a win over Oregon.
However, this task will not be easy. Oregon scored 66 points on Nicholl’s state last week. It’s not the total points that Virginia must worry about though. It’s more important to keep Oregon down early. Recent history tells you that if Oregon jumps out early, most teams have no chance to compete. Yet, if you can hang around and keep the score low, Oregon begins to press, and the offense could malfunction.
Virginia has to make tackles. If they have a chance to make a play in the backfield, they have to make it. The Cavaliers also must run to the ball on every play. Part of making all these plays is lining up correctly on the field.
There’s no doubt Oregon will test the will of the Virginia defense. De’Anthony Thomas carried the ball 18 times for 128 yards and two touchdowns. His sidekick, Byron Marshall averaged 15.5 yards per carry and gained 124 yards. Quarterback and Heisman candidate Marcus Mariota rushed for 113 yards on five carries as well.
Oregon’s defense should be able to deal with Virginia, but if things are working well, they’ll be on the field for the majority of the game. Last Saturday, Oregon’s defense played 87 plays. They gave up three points.
Virginia’s formula to win will be a strong running game and controlled passing game. They can sprinkle in some deep passes, but they don’t want to make the game a track meet. Kevin Parks’ longest run was 13 yards last week.
The Verdict: Oregon averaged 11 yards per carry in the first game. If they approach that number again, this game will not be close. It doesn’t look like Virginia will be able to run the ball enough to slow down the Ducks’ offense.
Oregon Ducks 49
Virginia Cavaliers 21